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Small business advice?

brungeman

I give a shirt
Jan 17, 2006
5,173
0
da Burgh
So I am just bouncing around ideas.

I am trying to figure out a way of separating my household checking from my side jobs, and at the same time start building the ability to purchase things that I need through vendors that I normally use when I contract through other people.

In other words I want a generic "corporation" so that I can continue doing multiple "businesses".
*I do contracting and remodeling in the summer.
*the Bike shop that I moonlight at and that I buy my parts at for my "repair business "is closing down the location closest to me and will be ~30 minutes away so I want to open an account for parts with QBP or BTI and open an account with a small bike company.
*Most of you know I also do design work and print T-shirts, so I want to continue to purchase through my wholesalers but without it coming out of my home checking.

I don't want to have to do 3 different checking accounts but it would look stupid if I were paying for stuff at a "contracting supply company" with a check from a "bike shop" or vice versa... but a generic commercial account would probably work for all 3.

anyone else have a generic business account? Do I need to incorporate? Or do I just open a business account under my name?
 

LordOpie

MOTHER HEN
Oct 17, 2002
21,033
0
Denver
Great ideas!

I think a general "holding" company is the way to go? Maybe something like, "Brungeman (or whatever), Inc." Make logos for Brungemen Construction, Brungemen Bikes, Brungemen Fluffing Services.

You can have one checking account for all, just the Brungemen Inc account?

I *think* what you'll want is an S-Corporation? can you afford an accountant?
 

Mr Tiles

I'm a beer snob
Nov 10, 2003
3,474
0
L-town ya'll
... so I want to open an account for parts with QBP or BTI and open an account with a small bike company.
I looked into doing this myself a couple years ago and I'm pretty sure quality requires a bricks and mortar store front. I do repairs out of my house for cash only. People bring me their bikes/parts and I repair/build wheels/etc. It's worked well for the past few years.
 

geargrrl

Turbo Monkey
May 2, 2002
2,379
1
pnw -dry side
You'll want to check with your state about the particulars of different corporation types.
Be sure to file a DBA ( doing business as) with the state.
You can set up a lot of what you want to do with something like Quickbooks. You can categorize and keep track of bus. expenses anyway you want. I do agree that a generic bus name will eliminate the need for multiple checking accounts.

gg
 

r464

Turbo Monkey
Oct 17, 2006
2,608
0
Earth
You need to create a poll so that RM can choose your business name...

Put one down for Slap-A-Ham, Inc.
 

brungeman

I give a shirt
Jan 17, 2006
5,173
0
da Burgh
Great input folks!

LO, fluffing service?:shocked:

Tiles, QBP does require a store front, as do most... I have a possible spot (store front) though, so it may work. I just don't want to "open a business" while the shop that I am in with now is still open. They are the best guys you could ever work for or with. They look the other way when we do repairs outside of the shop for friends etc. Most shops would cut you off at the knees for that!

G-Girl I agree! that is something I should look into first! I do have to do something quick cause Bek is going to fvcking kill me if I keep shuffling money around to the tune of $500 bucks a pop. :disgust1:

it is tough enough to pay the bills let alone when it is also the only checking account that I have at my disposal to pay my small business ventures out of! I have stopped using credit cards all together. After a few people "slow payed" me and the interest built up beyond the original billable amount I figured I was getting screwed so I stopped that! I pay COD or Debit card out of my household checking. :disgust:
 

dan-o

Turbo Monkey
Jun 30, 2004
5,142
1,197
To get a business account you simply need a tax ID #. A "DBA" set-up is cheapest/easiest and would be fine for the bike/printing biz. As a contractor who has seen what douchebags the general population is, I would recommend setting up something like a S-Corp if you're doing home remodeling so that your personal assets are protected. Make sure you're insured (work comp/liability) too.

I don't know what kind of $ you're generating but I'd also recommend a professional accountant. IME they pay for themselves, and then some.
 

dan-o

Turbo Monkey
Jun 30, 2004
5,142
1,197
Think about a Amex business card. No interest and it's basically like getting 30 day terms, which is plenty of time to chase down the deadbeats. :panic:
 

geargrrl

Turbo Monkey
May 2, 2002
2,379
1
pnw -dry side
To get a business account you simply need a tax ID #. A "DBA" set-up is cheapest/easiest and would be fine for the bike/printing biz. As a contractor who has seen what douchebags the general population is, I would recommend setting up something like a S-Corp if you're doing home remodeling so that your personal assets are protected. Make sure you're insured (work comp/liability) too.

I don't know what kind of $ you're generating but I'd also recommend a professional accountant. IME they pay for themselves, and then some.

Agree about the incorporation if there's any chance of liability, but for the other things, a sole proprietorship can work just fine.
Ditto on the accountant. A good accountant will help you plan for taxes, plus what kinds of expenses are appropriate. There's a lot of gray area for how to expense things when you own your own business, depending on what kind of business. An accountant can help with figuring out how far you can legally push the boundaries of "gray", know what are red flags for your kind of business, etc. etc. People do really stupid things sometimes in the name of "business expense" and its good to get solid professional advice.

For the record I'm a sole proprietor (15 years) with my technical sewing service, and my husband has a LLC with his environmental consulting firm. Both of our businesses are based our of our house, we write off almost one whole story of our house for office space, storage and workroom.

gg
 

dan-o

Turbo Monkey
Jun 30, 2004
5,142
1,197
GG, what kind of environmental consulting does you husband do? I'm thinking of going that route (more my wife actually, but an offshoot of my contracting biz).
 

jimmydean

The Official Meat of Ridemonkey
Sep 10, 2001
29,418
1,994
Portland, OR
I just signed up with the "Small Business Development Center" that is run through Portland Community College. I am meeting with a business advisor next week to go over planning and whatnot. A friend registered a business name and bought the associated domains and we are setting up in his garage for now. We might also use my garage as well, but I doubt it will ever get to be an actual store front.

PCC has a ton of great free information for starting and expanding small businesses. You might want to check with some local groups and see. It was free to sign up with BizCenter.org and they had some great ideas on the site.

I'm all for free advise. Next I am looking into environmental grants with the state.
 

jimmydean

The Official Meat of Ridemonkey
Sep 10, 2001
29,418
1,994
Portland, OR
Are you scrapping the MBA and looking to start your own gig? That'd be my advise (which is the advice my MBA'd brother gave me when I thought of returning to school).
That brings up a good question. On of the reasons I was looking at the MBA (non-technical) was the potential for application toward my own gig. Looking at the courses with regard to accounting, finance, resource management and whatnot could really help.

So the MBA can support both my "day job" AND my side gig without me paying for it. I would like to get started TODAY on the side project, but capital is an issue.

I have a possible investor that has some extra cash laying around that he sees a nice potential for return. One of the things I hope to get out of my meeting is how to structure the investment deal and where to apply it.

I wish I could just say f-it and start building, but I need to polish my business plan further.
 

reflux

Turbo Monkey
Mar 18, 2002
4,622
2
G14 Classified
Q: Do you really have any assets that need protection? We have clients that have setup C and S Corps, only to find out later that they didn't need the level of protection (and paperwork, etc) for the small scope of their work.

Running a small business is handful in of itself. There's no need to put extra work onto yourself if not needed.

Also, check your state's minumum annual tax assessed on different entities. CA has an $800 minimum tax, though some S Corps can skip their first year.
 

brungeman

I give a shirt
Jan 17, 2006
5,173
0
da Burgh
thanks Reflux... good point... sometimes I wish someone would take my damn house! specially when the sewer backs up etc.

I don't know at this point if it is worth "inc'ing" but given the type of businesses the liability (and yes there is insurance for that) in my mind is pretty great! The added level of protection of personal assets by being seperated from the businesses by incorporating is an idea I am intrigued by! I need to know more about it, and have a call in to my friend who is a CPA... I know this is about the worst time for me to look into this (prime Tax season) but I kinda need to do it sometime, might as well get the ball rolling!

thanks for the input! :thumb:
 

reflux

Turbo Monkey
Mar 18, 2002
4,622
2
G14 Classified
thanks Reflux... good point... sometimes I wish someone would take my damn house! specially when the sewer backs up etc.

I don't know at this point if it is worth "inc'ing" but given the type of businesses the liability (and yes there is insurance for that) in my mind is pretty great! The added level of protection of personal assets by being seperated from the businesses by incorporating is an idea I am intrigued by! I need to know more about it, and have a call in to my friend who is a CPA... I know this is about the worst time for me to look into this (prime Tax season) but I kinda need to do it sometime, might as well get the ball rolling!

thanks for the input! :thumb:
Cool. Just another thing to keep in mind: Incorporating won't do squat if you, as the sole shareholder of a coporation, leave the corporation as undercapitalized. Read: You need to keep and maintain a "material" financial investment in your company. In a worst-case scenario...
 

skatetokil

Turbo Monkey
Jan 2, 2005
2,384
0
DC/Bluemont VA
Dave, went through this myself for the project my father and I are working on. Started a Delaware LLC (which has no corporate income taxes) for a couple hundred through an Legalzoom.com. Took about an hour. Basically you can have your LLC taxed in such a way that income and losses simply pass through to the proprietors or you can opt to be taxed like a corporation and pay yourself a salary. That means that your entity is flexible enough that if you suddenly begin growing and employing people you don't have to restructure. You can also sell shares to raise money just like with a corporation.

Lots of contractors and real estate types are LLCs.
 

brungeman

I give a shirt
Jan 17, 2006
5,173
0
da Burgh
Dave, went through this myself for the project my father and I are working on. Started a Delaware LLC (which has no corporate income taxes) for a couple hundred through an Legalzoom.com. Took about an hour. Basically you can have your LLC taxed in such a way that income and losses simply pass through to the proprietors or you can opt to be taxed like a corporation and pay yourself a salary. That means that your entity is flexible enough that if you suddenly begin growing and employing people you don't have to restructure. You can also sell shares to raise money just like with a corporation.

Lots of contractors and real estate types are LLCs.
Clay, Thanks that is something to look into as well! how are things? have you made headway and located clients?
 

skatetokil

Turbo Monkey
Jan 2, 2005
2,384
0
DC/Bluemont VA
Still feel like I'm running in circles a bit. We keep having amazing and exciting new developments that don't go anywhere, but we're keeping at it till the money runs out.
 

N8 v2.0

Not the sharpest tool in the shed
Oct 18, 2002
11,007
149
The Cleft of Venus
my construction biz is an LLC that is an S-Corp for tax purposes.

Get an accountant to help you with your S-Corp status...